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Documents losing metadata when moved using Windows Explorer View and Content and Structure RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise environment.

    There is a single site collection which has sub-sites with their own Document Libraries. They are all using the same Content Type (Document) and have been configured with the same Site Columns.

    The issue is that no matter what process I use, some of the documents keep all their properties whilst others lose their properties (metadata) including the Site Columns and sometimes the Title too. It seems to be random, but maybe not - just haven't figured it out yet.

    This happens with both Excel and Word files - not sure what other files as mainly have these (98%).

    I've tried both copy and move using Windows Explorer View and Content and Structure but same issue.

    Any ideas why this would happen? Driving us crazy at the moment as we are at the stage where we want to start cleaning up the documents and where they live.

    Cheers,

    Grant.

    Friday, June 27, 2014 4:44 AM

Answers

  • That shouldn't happen with modern file formats (ie. docx).

    For the xml based formats the metadata values are stored within the document itself, which means that the files can be taken out of SharePoint and put back in without losing the values. SharePoint is also configured to always pay attention to the values in the documents over anything that's previously been entered so they should be pulled through to SharePoint.

    Can you take a couple of examples where it consistently loses the metadata and walk us through it? If so please give lots of details on the columns before and after as well as how you're moving the files.

    The single most common issue is user error. A copy of a document which lacks metadata is copied to a location where it does have metadata. In that case SharePoint honours the latest copy (lacking metadata) and so wipes the values in SharePoint.

    Friday, June 27, 2014 6:28 AM

All replies

  • http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/video-copy-or-move-library-files-by-using-open-with-explorer-VA102892916.aspx

    Using File Explorer to move SharePoint files does not preserve metadata, such as the original creation date, unfortunately. If preserving the original file metadata is important to you, consider searching the Office 365 Marketplace for a file migration solution available from one of our partners.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/44e0f46e-8c8f-4cd7-b8b2-3633dc68fbb0/option-to-move-sharepoint-files-and-folders-retaining-metadata

    We are using Metalogix in our environment and it works just very well for these kind of tasks.
    You can check more abour it at:
    http://www.metalogix.net/Products/SharePoint-Site-Migration-Manager/
    also, the support is great.

    http://en.share-gate.com/blog/bulk-copy-your-files-and-folders-without-losing-your-metadata


    If this helped you resolve your issue, please mark it Answered

    Friday, June 27, 2014 4:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Inderjeet,

    Thanks for your response.

    We would rather use the out-of-the-box features that already exist within SharePoint. My understanding is that using Content and Structure's Move operation should work, so trying to work out why it doesn't sometimes. It does work perfectly for a lot of documents, so if I can find out the cause of the ones that don't work correctly then we may be able to solve the issue.

    There will be many users that wish to move their documents at different times, and we want to ensure that the documents properties will be preserved when they do - which they should.

    We aren't too worried about the original author or creation date - mostly the Site Column data and the Title.

    To add to this we also get a similar issue when we go to upload a new version of an existing document - it "sometimes" looses the metadata and title too, but not always - so maybe a related issue that we really want to understand "root cause".

    Thanks,

    Grant.

    Friday, June 27, 2014 5:05 AM
  • That shouldn't happen with modern file formats (ie. docx).

    For the xml based formats the metadata values are stored within the document itself, which means that the files can be taken out of SharePoint and put back in without losing the values. SharePoint is also configured to always pay attention to the values in the documents over anything that's previously been entered so they should be pulled through to SharePoint.

    Can you take a couple of examples where it consistently loses the metadata and walk us through it? If so please give lots of details on the columns before and after as well as how you're moving the files.

    The single most common issue is user error. A copy of a document which lacks metadata is copied to a location where it does have metadata. In that case SharePoint honours the latest copy (lacking metadata) and so wipes the values in SharePoint.

    Friday, June 27, 2014 6:28 AM
  • I agree with Alex Brassington

    I dont think there is any option apart from 3rd party.


    If this helped you resolve your issue, please mark it Answered

    Friday, June 27, 2014 6:30 AM
    Moderator